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Volume 9, Number 50b December 11, 2003

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

HOMEBUILT PILOT STRANDED IN ANTARCTICA...
It looks like a famous Australian aerial adventurer who flew his RV-4 to Antarctica will be taking a Hercules home -- and leaving his aircraft behind (after disassembly) until (perhaps) February. Jon Johanson, who in 2000 flew his Vans homebuilt aircraft from Australia to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and back again, was on a new record-setting flight from New Zealand to Argentina, via the South Pole, when higher-than-forecast winds forced him down. The unplanned fuel stop was at the McMurdo Station scientific outpost on Monday. But officials for the National Science Foundation (NSF), which runs McMurdo and New Zealand's nearby Scott Base, have (so far) refused to fly in the 400 liters of fuel he needs to complete his journey. NSF officials say they are following a long-established policy. More...

...EAA, STATE DEPARTMENT INVOLVED
The plight of Johanson, who has circled the world three times in his RV, has sparked a major reaction in the aviation community. EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski said senior officials of his organization were in contact with government and NSF officials most of the day Wednesday trying to work something out. He said the issue quickly went as high as the State Department in Washington but by AVweb's press deadline Wednesday there was no indication Johanson would be able to resume his flight. Knapinski said it was his understanding the Antarctic base doesn't have any avgas but, even if it did, officials probably wouldn't sell it to him. More...

GIVE GARMIN'S 196 GPS - THE MOST UTILITY AMONG AVIATION HANDHELDS! WAAS-capable, the Garmin 196 has advanced mapping and logbook capabilities offering more utility as a cross-platform navigator than any aviation portable on the market. On land the GPSMAP 196 can navigate along roads or waterways. For details on the 196 and other Garmin GPS models go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/garmin

OMF AIRCRAFT HITS SKIDS, RESTRUCTURES...
Quebec-based OMF Aircraft, which produces the $120,000, 160-hp, 128-knot, high-wing Glastar look-alike, the Symphony 160, says it will be back in production by May despite the financial collapse of its parent company, OMF GmbH, in Germany on Tuesday. OMF Aircraft, which was 70-percent owned by the German company, will reorganize into a stand-alone enterprise and continue with plans to manufacture and develop three aircraft lines. "To do this is actually relatively straightforward," CEO Paul Costanzo said in a telephone news conference Wednesday. More...

...$5 MILLION SOUGHT, FOUNDERS OPT OUT...
OMF Aircraft needs to raise about $5 million to complete the restructuring. The Quebec government has already invested in the plant and will end up with a 49-percent interest in the company. Raising the $5 million will trigger the release of $4 million of funds already secured through the arrangement with Quebec. Costanzo said he shouldn't have any problem raising the money. "There's a very high level of confidence that we will be able to secure those funds," he said. The collapse in Germany likely means that Matt and Derek Stinnes, who have been the driving force behind the creation of OMF, will be no longer associated with the project. More...

...PRODUCT SUPPORT A TOP PRIORITY
There are currently 41 Symphony 160s flying and Bill Sprague, OMF Aircraft's vice president of sales, says the top priority now is to ensure continued product support for those customers. He also said the six North American distributors will also be allowed to continue taking orders for the 160 and to reserve positions on the 135D diesel-powered version (which would fly with Thielert's Centurion 1.7) and the four-place 250, both of which are under development. There are now 21 orders for 160s and 25 options held for the two new designs. Costanzo said that while the new product lines will be delayed in development by at least six months by the current situation, OMF Aircraft will continue both programs under Canadian certification. More...

A PORTABLE SOFTSEAT™ CUSHION OR AN OREGON AERO GIFT CERTIFICATE MAKE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFTS! Need something for those "hard-to-buy-for" people on your holiday list? An Oregon Aero Gift Certificate or Portable SoftSeat™ would make their day. Oregon Aero has more than 500 gift ideas with some not just for pilots. For complete details and to order go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/gift

BAGHDAD AIRBUS LANDED WITHOUT HYDRAULICS?
Company officials won't confirm it but, if it's true, the missile attack on a DHL Airbus last month in Baghdad is one hell of a flying story. Shortly after the incident, AVweb received word that the missile knocked out all three hydraulics systems on the A300 and the unidentified crew had to make the emergency landing using only differential thrust for directional control. DHL has steadfastly refused to confirm the story. In an e-mail to AVweb Wednesday, company spokesman Claus Korfmacher said he wouldn't comment until all the various investigations were completed. "Unfortunately, the situation hasn't changed," said Korfmacher. "Investigations are still ongoing therefore we cannot provide any additional information. This applies for our flight crew members as well." More...

FAA, NATCA INK LABOR DEAL
Labor peace between air traffic controllers and the FAA has been guaranteed (maybe) by the signing of a two-year extension of their contract. Although much of the contract is unchanged (including the base wage of controllers) the FAA did win some cost-saving measures in the deal. How much they'll be able to save depends on who you talk to. In a statement, the FAA says it will save a maximum of $40 million over four years while the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) says the savings are more like $100 million over the life of the contract. At the core of the cost savings is a "performance-based pay system that ties part of controllers' pay to reductions in runway incursions and operational errors," according to NATCA's news release. More...

PILOT SURVIVES COLD ALASKA NIGHT
Rescue officials scolded an Anchorage Fire Department Battalion Chief for failing to file a flight plan on a sightseeing trip that could have been his last. Wade Strahan, 56, spent a wet, frigid night in an unheated trapper's cabin after his Cessna 172 skidded into Eklutna Lake last Friday afternoon. His disappearance sparked a massive search covering 2,400 square miles. "It would have made everybody's life so much easier if we'd had a flight plan," Major Chris Kobi, senior rescue controller with the Alaska Air National Guard, told The Anchorage Daily News. (Or a personal locator beacon.) Strahan got full marks for endurance and perseverance, however. He had to swim 150 yards to shore and then hike to the unheated cabin where he spent the night huddled on a bed of spruce boughs in zero- to 10-degree temperatures. More...

GIVE AEROSHELL SHINE AND PROTECTION TO THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE'S AIRCRAFT AeroShell, a trusted name for oil and lubricants, introduces a line of appearance products designed specifically for general aviation aircraft. The AeroShell Flight Jacket products can be purchased in a convenient leak-proof bag designed for easy carrying and storage. AeroShell's Flight Jacket Kit Bag contains all six AeroShell Flight Jacket cleaners and polishes, along with the application pad and cleaning cloths. AeroShell Flight Jacket products can be ordered for holiday giving at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell

"BLAND" WICHITA AIRPORT DEFENDED
Love them or hate them, airports usually evoke some kind of visceral reaction, but officials at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport are wondering what to do about a "tourism expert's" assessment. Alf Nucifora told The Wichita Eagle he thought the airport bland. But, then, maybe the airport is OK and it's the city that's bland, because he justified his comments by saying an airport "must reflect the urban vitality of the city. In fact, it reflects nothing." Just in case it's really the airport that's bland, officials leapt to its defense. "I doubt that he knows about the master plan," said Bailis Bell, director of airports. More...

LANCAIR HITS 100
It may seem like 100 years to some of those at Lancair Certified but it only took the company eight years to reach a centennial of sorts. The Bend, Ore., company rolled its 100th Columbia 350 out of the factory earlier this week, a little more than a week before that big Dec. 17 to-do in North Carolina. "Having the two milestones fall so close to one another is a fitting coincidence," CEO Bing Landis told The Bend Bugle. "This delivery is symbolic in that the Lancair Company has seen more than its share of challenges but we've persevered and today our outlook for the future is limitless." More...

WHOOPING CRANES HAVE A HAPPY LANDING
Thanks to some ultralight pilots, Canadian wildlife charity Operation Migration and hundreds of volunteers, there are 16 more whooping cranes ready to take on the world. The young birds, all born last May in captivity in Wisconsin, were literally shown the way to their winter home near Crystal River, Fla., on Monday. More than 1,000 people were on hand at the mall next to the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge to witness the happy landing. It's the third group of cranes to be shown the way. Monday's happy ending capped a 54-day, 1,200-mile journey from the cranes' birthplace at the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin. More...

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ON THE FLY...
Goodyear's Spirit of America took an unexpected bath in a compost pile...
Manchester Airport fire chief in hot water over Concorde...
John Glenn to be honored at 56th Annual Wright Memorial Dinner...
O'Hare may this year show a traffic increase for the first time since 1999...
Canadian airports have banned fruit cakes. More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
Say Again? #31: Traffic Time
Do you know where the traffic is around you? The controller knows, and can usually tell you. But sometimes pilots make things more difficult than they need to be -- when we're just trying to keep away from everyone else. AVweb's Don Brown tells how you can work with ATC to get where you're going without running into someone.

More...

WRAP UP THE GREAT LAKES INTERNATIONAL AVIATION CONFERENCE THIS HOLIDAY! Order the perfect gift for friends, relatives, and yourself! The Great Lakes International Aviation Conference, February 6-8, in Lansing, Michigan will host a top-flight lineup of nationally known speakers with breakout seminars, hands-on displays, discussions, and an extensive maintenance program. The exhibit area will be filled with the latest products and technologies. IA renewal and the FAA Wings program are available for those who qualify. Your reservation card will be sent in the mail in time for holiday giving. Call 248 348-6942 and mention this AVflash, or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gliac

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Sam Ash, of Raleigh, NC. Sam’s picture was taken at Barber Field in Alliance, OH during a three week cross country trip with his my father who is also a pilot. I think we’ll agree few cross–country fuel stops offer this kind of grass roots aviation scenery. Great picture, Sam! Your AVweb hat is on the way.

To check out the winning picture, or to enter next week's contest, go to http://www.avweb.com/potw More...

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK...
We received over 200 responses to our question last week on Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of those responding flew within heir local area during the holiday weekend, while 26ercent flew a GA aircraft for a holiday trip. Only two percent indicated TFR’s restricted them from flying this Thanksgiving.

To check out the complete results or respond to this week's question, go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw
This week, we would like to know your thoughts on the upcoming Kitty Hawk event. More...

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BUSINESS AVFLASH
&lid=bizav">HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb’s NO-COST twice monthly Business AVflash? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the Business of Aviation. Business AVflash is a must read! Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/ More...

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ATTENTION ROD MACHADO FANS & THOSE SOON-TO-BE FANS!DVDs are now available of these fantastically fun and educational Rod Machado videos: "Defensive Flying"; "IFR Tips and Techniques"; and his just-for-fun "Aviation Humor". These make great holiday gifts for any pilot or aviation enthusiast. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/machado

COMM 1 IS THE PERFECT GIFT FOR ALL PILOTS ON YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING LIST Comm 1 Radio Simulator contains comprehensive tutorials, and fully interactive two-way radio exchanges with ATC, from the safety and privacy of your computer. Build skills and confidence on the ground while saving money and aggravation. NEW: Interactive Navigation and VOR/NDB Simulator training programs, high quality headsets and more. HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Comm 1 will pay U.S. domestic shipping with each order through December 15, plus a complimentary multimedia headset with every order through December 31 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1

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COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING ON SPIRIT AND CREATOR & 2012:AIRBORNE PROPHESY Nova Hall, grandson of Donald Hall design engineer of the Spirit of St Louis showcases documents and designs that inspired the Spirit team to triumph in "Spirit and Creator". "2012:Airborne Prophesy" is a suspense novel bringing readers a global takeover plot with lots of Hawker 800 right seat "time". Order either, or both books, and receive complimentary shipping till December 24! Go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/safegoods

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SPONSOR NEWS

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We Welcome Your Feedback!

AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news, articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the Internet's Aviation Magazine and News Service. http://www.avweb.com

Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be sent to mailto:editor@avweb.com.com. Have a comment or question? Send it to mailto:newsteam@avweb.com.

Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team: mailto:sales@avweb.com.

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